Waterslide Time Machine

Family vacations are usually great for making new memories. Yesterday, while Henry and Ruby were busy with that, Kristine and I relived some old memories from our youth. We spent the day at Atlantis Waterslide Park in Vernon, BC.

Hit me with your best shot by Pat Benatar was playing as we entered the park. That was followed by Billy Idol, The Rolling Stones, Guns & Roses and Van Halen. We hadn’t entered a waterslide park; we’d entered a time machine. It was 1986.

With the soundtrack of our youth playing all day, we rode the slides, sunbathed and ordered food from teens working the snack bar. Kristine and I reminisced about our respective hometown waterslide experiences at Splash Down (Spokane) and Moby Dick (Omaha). I even relived the experience of being reprimanded by the lifeguard when I wore my sunglasses down the slide – a flagrant disregard for the rules.

Atlantis continued to crank the hits from the 80s and 90s, tuned in to The Beach 107.5 FM. Henry and Ruby thoroughly enjoyed the day. I think they even liked the music. They spent most of the time riding the slides together, with periodic visits to our spot on the lawn to tug Kristine or me up the hill to go down the Zoom Tube, River Raft or Double Trouble.

By late afternoon, after six fun-filled hours, the air became a little too thick with smoke from the BC wildfires, so we called it a day. As we drove south toward Kelowna on Highway 97, the kids quickly fell asleep from exhaustion. Kristine turned on the radio. The station? The Beach, 107.5.

Advertisements

Oh, Myra Canyon

As soon as the kids were out of earshot, Kristine leaned over and said, “I’m terrified.” I’d been focused on whether we’d all have the right tires for the gravel trail. I had not considered that others might be concerned about the possibility of falling to our death. That is, until I was half way across a trestle and looked down through the railroad ties, which were spaced about 12 inches apart – too close together to allow you to slip through, but far enough apart to make your heart rate quicken.

On day two of our 2018 Fry Summer adventure, we drove to the top of Myra Canyon outside of Kelowna, BC. Once there, we unloaded our bikes to ride the 12-kilometer length of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail that winds along the canyon ridge over 18 trestles and through several tunnels.

The Fry Family Quartet is now of mostly equal riding ability, which makes little adventures like this possible. Moments of terror notwithstanding, we all enjoyed the ride, which gave us the most amazing views of the canyon below, despite the hazy skies caused by BC’s wildfires.

Ruby and Kristine returned to the trailhead before Henry and I. Upon our return, we discovered them enjoying an all-American picnic in the back of our pick up.

If you ride a bike and ever find yourself near Kelowna, a ride along Myra Canyon is a must. It’s way more beautiful than scary.

All Systems Go

We’ve completely changed things up at Fry Lodge this summer – particularly with respect to Fry Lodge on the go. Motorhome: gone. Minivan: gone. In their place: an Airstream trailer and a big red truck for hauling it.

In advance of our first long trip with the new set up, Ruby, Kristine and I did a quick overnight shakedown cruise to Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, while Henry attended a friend’s birthday party sleepover.

Pulling the trailer was no problem, with the help of our Race Red F150 3.6 liter V6 Ecoboost. I’m glad I got lots of practice maneuvering our little boat trailer last summer. I still need practice.

Even though it was a quick trip, Kristine, Ruby and I got in a bike ride this morning. We rode into Anacortes for a delicious breakfast at Dad’s Diner. On the ride along the water, Ruby remarked on the beautiful scenery, saying the only improvement would be the removal of the big refinery that kind of marred the landscape.

All systems go on the Airstream, though. New batteries – check. Tire pressure – check. Propane for hot water – check. Graywater protocol – check check. Can’t wait for our trip to Kelowna with the full Fry Family Quartet.

Pacific Northwest Show-offs

One of the great things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that it’s easy to show off for visitors. The Fry Family Quartet took Jim and Mary Kay to Victoria, BC to kick off their visit this weekend.

Any place that offers water taxis as a standard mode of transportation is going to be fun. That’s how we got to dinner most nights in Victoria.

On Saturday we checked out the lovely Butchart Gardens, which never disappoints.

Sunday, before having tea at the Empress, we watched the water taxis perform a choreographed ballet in Victoria Harbour.

For lodging, we stayed at the guest houses attached to Spinnakers, the oldest brewpub in Canada.

We’ve set the bar pretty high for the next few weeks.

Oysterfest

Having house guests is a major motivator to do things you’ve never done or things you rarely do. Visiting Taylor Shellfish Farm, hiking to Teddy Bear Cove, roasting marshmallows in the backyard and cleaning the house made the list this weekend as a result of a visit from our good friends, the Kielys.

There are many positive aspects of a Kiely family visit. One thing we always look forward to is letting Paul have his way with our kitchen. This weekend Paul outdid himself. Saturday’s dinner involved oysters and two amazing salads. Sunday’s lunch: oyster poboys.

Teddy Bear Cove band photo

We thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Kielys are welcome back to Fry Lodge anytime.

Bike-Mow-Reflect

Sometimes a long bike ride is as relaxing as lying on the beach with a cool beverage. Today was one of those days. I rode 28 miles roundtrip to mow the lawn at Fry Lodge Mud Bay.

The one-hour-fifteen-minute ride from one end of Lopez Island to another was a good opportunity to reflect on life. It’s interesting how my mind wanders on these long rides that put me into a meditative state.

My mom turned 77 today. After mowing my lawn, I called to wish her happy birthday. She was in Colorado, about to enter a restaurant for a birthday party of a friend whom she’d driven 1000 miles to surprise. It wasn’t even her friend’s actual birthday. Celebrating somebody else’s birthday on her own birthday. Classic Kaye.

My trip to Lopez was bookended by ferry rides. Such a beautiful way to travel – especially when a bike allows you to skip the hour-long car line to board.

It was a very relaxing, thought-provoking day. I think I need a cool beverage on a beach to recover.

A Fry Lodge Father’s Day

I had to squat on the beach to get the perfect shot of Kristine and the kids as we took a break on Crab Island during our family kayak outing. It’s usually a challenge getting all three of them to smile at once during one of my photo shoots. But for some reason, they all broke out into hysterics. I wondered why, until I felt the dampness in the seat of my shorts. Apparently, at that moment, a clam decided to spit water vertically from where it was buried in the sand – directly underneath me.

It was perfect timing on the clam’s part. It broke the tension created by a certain reluctant kayaker, who will remain nameless.

The Fry Family Quartet was having a very nice, well deserved break. The previous two weekends were spent getting Fry Lodge Mud Bay ready to put on the market, which had included pre-dawn ferry journeys, lots of elbow grease and a few sore muscles.

A little spray paint does wonders

After the squirting clam incident, we visited our good friends, the Rovente family, on their awesome little Lopez farm. Kristine was hit with a double whammy of cat and hay allergies, but we had a wonderful evening all the same.

We woke up this morning to a clear-as-glass Mud Bay and decided it was time to head back to the mainland. Our ferry karma kicked in as we barely squeezed onto the 9:30am ferry (the 33rd car despite a 27-car quota).

We spent the rest of our Sunday test driving F150 pickups, napping and grilling ribeyes. A great Fry Lodge Father’s Day.